I’ve seen hundreds of LACCD students in my classes at CSUN over the years.  I strongly identify with these young people.  They need and deserve our best.  That’s why I decided to run for College Board.

Many of these students remind me of myself at their age.  I was a minority from an immigrant family.  Money was tight; school was a challenge; and many pressures worked against the very idea of college.

Yet with the help of my family and teachers (plus some courses at West L.A. Community College!) I stayed in school, went on to university and to graduate school.  Now I’m working to inspire a passion for learning in a new generation.

That’s the kind of success I want for all LACCD students.  So I’m running to bring some badly-needed perspectives to the Board of Trustees:

  • We need a Board that understands the challenges facing students today.  In addition to teaching, I work every day with families and children who are struggling to make it.  So I know the kinds of barriers that discourage too many students from starting (and finishing!) their educations.  I want to focus on support services that help students overcome those barriers.
  • We need academic standards that help students succeed at the next level.  I’ve been teaching at CSU for many years.  So I have a clear view of how well – or, sometimes, how poorly – LACCD students are prepared for university-level work.  Every student enrolled in our District should be finishing with a degree, or a certificate, that prepares them for further schooling or a good job.
  • We need fiscal discipline so students are not shortchanged by wasteful spending.  Sadly, LACCD has a history of poorly managed bond funds.  Now that voters have provided new funding, I want every penny accounted for and spent directly to benefit our students.  I’m an experienced manager, running an agency with a multi-million-dollar budget and over a hundred employees.  So I know how to balance a budget, make a payroll and guard against waste.

Our community colleges should be engines of economic opportunity and success.  Just as they helped change my life at a critical time, and just as they helped my parents become citizens a generation earlier, I want them to help today’s students find good jobs and achieve their dreams.

That’s what my campaign is about.  If you agree, I would be honored to have your support. 

Dr. Gabriel Buelna, PhD